Slate's Scores

  • Movies
  • TV
For 1,679 reviews, this publication has graded:
  • 44% higher than the average critic
  • 3% same as the average critic
  • 53% lower than the average critic
On average, this publication grades 0.6 points lower than other critics. (0-100 point scale)
Average Movie review score: 63
Highest review score: 100 Persepolis
Lowest review score: 0 Life Is Beautiful
Score distribution:
1679 movie reviews
  1. An overinflated B-movie with no grace, no subtext, no wit, and featuring beefcake/cheesecake actors who look like they've been plucked from the soaps.
  2. Blomkamp proceeds to spend the last two-thirds of his film crashing spaceships into lawns, or staging high-tech fistfights between Elysium’s stolid hero and his even duller arch-nemesis. It’s a waste of a perfectly good dystopia.
  3. A somnolent load of wank.
  4. A melodrama in which the clichés prove more lethal than the bullets.
  5. I found the movie cheap, muddled, and thoroughly devoid of insight.
  6. Jumper not only makes the rules up as it goes along; it neglects to tell us what those rules are, which is both unfair and unfun.
  7. The state of mind brought on by Speed Racer the movie is more akin to that phenomenon by which young infants, exposed to more stimuli than their systems are equipped to handle, will simply shut down.
  8. Where are we? What is this empty, science-fiction-like space in which luxury goods and women who resemble them are ceaselessly rotated in front of our eyes? Oh, it's Hollywood.
  9. There are any number of reasons why the vast majority of comedy sequels are borderline unwatchable, but there’s ultimately only one thing that the worst of them all share in common: They give the audience what they think they want, not what they don’t yet know they want.
  10. This is a two-hour-and-six-minute snuff movie -- The Jesus Chainsaw Massacre -- that thinks it's an act of faith.
  11. The movie is barely sufferable.
  12. What was already a raucous put-on, a goof on Aldrich's brutal action movies, is now a hyperbolic, gross-out cartoon, with a cast of enormous ex-football stars (plus the 7-foot-2-inch Indian wrestler Dalip Singh) only adding to the air of facetiousness.
  13. I had a hard time maintaining interest in (let along liking) any of these self-involved Hollywood twerps, and scene after scene is a grating mixture of self-aggrandizement and masochism.
    • 45 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Preposterous plot devices, leaden acting, and clunktastic dialogue are acceptable in a dance movie, but bad choreography is not, and it's during the dance scenes that Step Up 3D fails.
  14. Made for the most excruciating two-and-a-half hours I've ever spent in a theater.
  15. George Clooney is all by himself among living leading men in making smarm pass triumphantly for charm. But the movie lacks momentum, clarity, a decent payoff, and a location with the personality of Vegas.
  16. This beautifully shot and painstakingly constructed film is a self-indulgent bucket of hogwash.
  17. The project as a whole conveys a drab sense of bureaucratic necessity, a "let's get this over with" wheeziness.
  18. A riot of sleazy camera moves, bad acting, and maladroit profane dialogue.
  19. The 12 scenes of Irreversible--each shot in a single, semi-improvised take--constitute something of a tour de force. But so would being dragged through the streets by a wire noose.
  20. Con Air is boring to the marrow.
  21. Libel on one of the true visionaries of American business in the 20th century, a man unfairly demonized for doing what others strove to do but doing it faster and better.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Howard the Duck, the movie, is as bad as you've heard. Actually, it's worse. But its failings as a film have overshadowed the frequently brilliant 1970s comic book that inspired it. Using only the most superficial elements of its source material while discarding most of what made the comic interesting, the film serves as a textbook example of how to turn something into nothing.
  22. He (Annaud) doesn't have a clue how to dramatize the romance. Fiennes, whose eyes are extremely close together, stares with a mixture of rage and longing at Weisz, whose eyes are extremely far apart, and the film turns into "The Dating Game" designed by Picasso.
  23. The script plays goofy games, stopping the action for Tarantino-style small talk; piling on alternate, "Rashomon"-style flashbacks; and divulging its characters' secrets in no particular order.
  24. Hordes of good actors evidently lined up to appear in Confidence, which wastes Weisz, Guzman, Logue, Forster, and Paul Giamatti, among others. Midway through, a grizzled Andy Garcia shambles in, chewing on a cigar, as an FBI agent; he's so fatuously hammy that his true narrative function is never in doubt.
  25. It may or may not be the worst movie ever made, but it is one of the most unhinged.
  26. All the rest of Thor's 113 minutes felt so synthetic and overfamiliar that those brief flashes of spontaneity stood out like Morse code messages from another, better movie.
    • 72 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    This isn’t the churning of ambiguities; it’s a muddle, a mess.
  27. Yeah, they made a ton of junky movies in Hong Kong, but those were dazzlingly fluid and high-flying junky movies. This American retread has the same sort of hack plot but none of the bravura. It makes them look like monkeys, and not bulletproof ones.
  28. Kaufman proves again how miraculously in synch with his material he can be. Directing a fourth-rate, maladroit, derivative mystery, he becomes a fourth-rate, maladroit, derivative director--worse even than a TV-movie hack.
  29. Linda Hunt's spooky nun speaks of "a hundred levels of consciousness" between death and full, earthbound awareness: Where on that continuum do the executives who green-lighted Dragonfly reside?
  30. You have to feel for the army of talented FX people who must have spent months on scenes--trying to compensate, with their artistry, for the lack of dramatic logic--and having to listen to those lines over and over.
  31. The movie is bafflingly boring and ridiculous. Its loginess is exacerbated by the pacing of the writer-director, Martin Brest.
  32. George Lucas does it his way in the pallid Phantom Menace. Even cultists will wish he'd hired a director and some writers.
  33. Even by the standard of a fourth-in-a-series summer blockbuster, Wolverine, the first X-Men movie directed by Gavin Hood ( Rendition), is remarkably lame.
  34. One of the least entertaining satires ever made.
  35. Material so utterly conventional that you can predict every plot turn after the first half-hour.
  36. I wouldn't exactly call it entertainment; I found myself wanting to apologize on behalf of obnoxious heterosexual Jewish men the world over.
  37. The only surprise about U-Turn is the good reviews it got from people who should know better.
  38. Serves up some of the most gruesomely misogynistic imagery in years, then ends with a bid for understanding. Are its makers so deluded that they think they're making the world a more compassionate place?
  39. It's impressive, in the sense that a sucker-punch impresses itself on your skull.
    • 36 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    Beckinsale is an elegant woman—before she was the Emma Peel of the undead, she was Jane Austen's Emma, and before she was Emma, she was passing A levels in German, French, and Russian literature—and all her stalking and seething keep the movie from being totally unwatchable.
  40. In terms of character development, wit, and simple curiosity, it's dumber than a Neanderthal.
  41. Slow-acting poison. For the first third of the movie, you'll experience a not-unpleasant tingling in the extremities, giving way to an encroaching torpor. An hour in, your pupils will have shrunk to pinholes, and by the time the closing credits roll, you'll be capable only of a dim longing for the defibrillation paddles. Who would have thought a movie about a beautiful, frequently naked female Nazi could be so dull?
  42. The movie is one dead, overcomposed scene after another.
  43. A sickeningly manipulative, by-the-numbers revenge movie.
    • 28 Metascore
    • 20 Critic Score
    This isn't a movie of hoary Sherwood Forest clichés. It manages, through sheer artistic force, to stoop below cliché--to seem both fresh and rotten at once.
  44. Profoundly unnecessary -- cluttered, padded even at 90 minutes, indifferently narrated by Anthony Hopkins, and consistently misdirected by Ron Howard.
  45. Even by the standards of the current run of mediocre comic-book movies, this one stands out for its egregious shoddiness.
  46. DiVito turns actors like Robin Williams, Edward Norton, and Catherine Keener into nothing less horrific than giant Danny DeVitos.
  47. It used to be that Midler was a life force, but whenever she tries to play one, she looks like she's floating in formaldehyde.
  48. All of its plot threads are equally dreadworthy.
  49. The movie is a big, noisy mess, with a howler at its center: Overrouged psychiatrist Michael Douglas.
  50. There are no real people in The Producers --only actors laboring to dispel whatever magic they once were thought to possess. The director, Susan Stroman, has brought the Broadway smash to the screen (where it began, almost 40 years ago) with cataclysmic results.
  51. Let's just say that in spite of its malignant sun-scorched palette, absurdist visions, and narrative loop the loops, the picture looks in hindsight like the same old vigilante crap.
  52. Here is a movie that encourages you to give it the benefit of the doubt at every possible turn but has no interest in offering anything in return. If you liked the original, you’ll like this one less. If you loathed the original, may God be with you. Opa!
  53. To call The Change-Up misogynistic would be to shortchange the equal-opportunity disgust this anal-regressive film demonstrates toward men, babies, old people, and corporeal existence in general.
  54. It's not so much the nonsensical nature of the plot that rankles; it's the movie's wrongheaded approach to the material.
    • 33 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    Fifty Shades Darker is very faithful to its predecessor’s vision. That is to say, it is another terrible movie with just the slightest whiff of self-awareness about how terrible it is.
  55. Turns into a moronic, psycho-on-the-loose picture pretty quickly.
  56. Clash seems to be deliberately steering clear of camp, when in fact it should have steered straight into camp and stepped on the gas.
  57. And it's true that this movie's absolute tone-deafness, its complete disconnection from our current economic and geopolitical reality, by moments achieves a perverse Warholian profundity.
  58. Cruise seems weariest of all, flogging outdated merchandise he can’t even pretend to believe in. It’s not Cruise that feels ancient; it’s The Mummy.
  59. Turns into a pea-brained hodgepodge of "The Omen" (1976), "The Sixth Sense" (1999), and about 30 Grade-Z Bela Lugosi mad-scientist movies.
  60. Russell is a manically inventive writer-director--maybe the most fearless talent of his generation. It's not a contradiction to say that I admire him more than ever while pronouncing Huckabees an unmitigated disaster.
    • 61 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    There's not a single thing about Air Force One to recommend, except perhaps the controlled performance of Glenn Close, who does remarkably well as the recipient of several phone calls from the sky.
  61. To put it delicately, this comics fan hated Batman v Superman with the fury of a thousand red-dwarf suns. Blunt, humorless, and baffling, it collides the brutish directorial stamp of its director (he of 300 and Watchmen fame) with the most shameless instincts of our latter-day superhero franchise bubble.
  62. Probably the most horrifying stuff I've seen all week.
  63. Lordy, what a stinker.
  64. There's something reassuring about the fact that The Avengers is so rotten: proof yet again that people with piles of money can hire wizard production designers but can't fake class.
  65. The politics of Dogville are on par with a third-rate gangster picture: cheap, opportunistic nihilism, with no enlivening sense of humor.
  66. I suppose you could say the film made me slightly more likely to play one of the games, but only because I’d do just about anything before I saw this movie again.
  67. A buddy cop movie that pretends to spoof buddy cop movies along with reality TV shows, Showtime is so lazy and artless that … that … it saps my will to come up with a good quip: Witless in itself, it is the source of witlessness in others.
  68. I'm at a loss to account for how OFF this film is -- how a movie can seem so conscientiously earnest yet so creepily exploitive. It's like a Christmas stocking over a crematory.
  69. You might actively root for their collective demise, if you could rouse yourself to care one way or the other. Go gallivanting in Chernobyl and you get what you pay for, nimrods.
  70. The last 20 minutes are horrifically violent, relentlessly claustrophobic, and irredeemably pointless. Von Trier has us on the hot seat, and he's going to walk us through his most primitive sexual nightmares--not because they'll bring us to a greater understanding of madness or love or grief, but just because he bloody well feels like it.
  71. I found it so oppressively smug that I had to get up and pace the aisles three or four times, and I'd have bolted if I hadn't been duty bound to stick it out.
  72. Unfathomably awful.
    • 63 Metascore
    • 10 Critic Score
    So brutal a negation of the popcorn aesthetic is liable to be mistaken for artistic courage. A grindingly slow pace, a quarter-baked plot, a semidocumentary focus on the lives of the working poor: It's enough to make you whimper "Matt Damon" in defeat.
  73. Like being run over by a garbage truck that backs up and dumps its load on top of you. It's a sloppy and vulgar burlesque, one of the most repulsive kiddie movies ever made.
  74. This is another of those post-Saturday Night Live vehicles in which ineptitude and laziness are supposed to be taken as irony: It's not bad, it's "bad." Actually, it's "terrible":
  75. If it isn't the worst sequel ever made, it's only because it has too much competition: Impersonal and frenetic, it's a landmark Hollywood disgrace.
  76. Owen, Giamatti, and Bellucci--all fine actors at the peak of hireability--must have been coming off a collective coke bender when they agreed to be in this murky, straight-to-video-looking piece of crud.
  77. The most appalling comedy of the millennium after "Joe Dirt," which is so supernaturally terrible that it levitated me out of the theater after 40 minutes.
  78. Domino seemed to me the end of the world for movies--a glimpse of a future so excruciating that I'd prefer to take my chances with Hitchcock's eye-gouging avians.
  79. That mystery is certainly hardy enough to withstand the voyeuristic onslaught of this self-aggrandizing, lurid documentary, which leaves the viewer feeling that we’ve been given a tour of Salinger’s septic tank in hip waders without ever getting to knock on his door and say hello.
    • 73 Metascore
    • 0 Critic Score
    The movie is a modern facsimile of the potboilers James transfigured. A great movie may yet be made of James, but it will have to be done by someone who has read him.
  80. It all adds up to one of the most brazen pieces of blame-shifting in exploitation-picture history.
  81. Benigni's movie made me want to throw up.
  82. A picture that will be hailed without controversy as the worst of its kind ever made.
  83. The worst thing about I'm Still Here is the fact that it exists.
  84. I'd like to tell you about the remake of The Amityville Horror (MGM), but I ankled after less than five minutes. It was something about the little girl holding the stuffed animal getting blown away with a shotgun at point-blank range.
  85. A comedy so noxious it seems the product of deliberate malignity. Surely the sour, vapid, miserable world of this movie can't reflect any real human being's notion of what love or humor or good storytelling is-not even a Hollywood screenwriter's.
  86. This non-balletic adaptation by the Russian director Andrei Konchalovsky is something gnarled and stunted and wrong, something that should never have been allowed to see the light of day. How's that for a holiday-ad pullquote?
  87. This tale of a guru who brings joy to all who meet him is the most joy-draining 88 minutes I've ever spent outside a hospital waiting room.

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